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Act 3 scene 1 is a pivotal point in the play, It includes tense and dramatic moments - Discuss how Shakespeare orchestrates the outcome of this scene.

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Introduction

"A plague o'both your houses." Act 3 scene 1 is a pivotal point in the play. It includes tense and dramatic moments. Discuss how Shakespeare orchestrates the outcome of this scene. The play Romeo and Juliet starts off with a prologue. The prologue tells us the basic outline of events that will happen in the play. It is used to involve the audience instantly. The contemporary audience (Elizabethan) already knew the story, they only went to see how the events happened and played out, which was entertainment to them. The prologue contains no events that don't actually happen in the play. Each event in the prologue relates to an event in the play. There are a few events in the play that aren't in the prologue. For example Mercutio's death (Act3 scene1), which is unexpected. The prologue is 14 lines long, like poems in the Renaissance period. Poetry then was formulaic- it followed rules (conventions). Beginning Romeo and Juliet with a prologue directly echoes the structure of Greek theatre, where the concept of tragedy originates. ...read more.

Middle

41-42, Mercutio says this which could mean sword - and irony - for instance when Romeo says "This but begins the woe others must end." Act 3 scene 1 line 111, which is ironic because Rome and Juliet end the war between the families by committing suicide. When Mercutio refers to himself as "A grave man," Act 3 scene 1 line 90, he is using ambiguity, as grave has more than one meaning. The title "A plague o'both your houses" is repeated 3 times by Mercutio after he is injured. The repetition of the quote enhances tension. The first time he says it, they may think he is only joking, but the third and final time he says it, we know he means it. Irony is used in the scene. Romeo says this because he thought that not fighting would be better than fighting but it only gets Mercutio killed. Romeo also finds out that is happening is already decided. "I am fortunes fool," Act 3 scene 1 line 127. ...read more.

Conclusion

The tension in the scene is still there, although the audience gets different points of view. This gives the impression that there is no more control, that the events are snowballing out of control. When Romeo refuses to fight, no one other than the audience knows why. "Tybalt the reason I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage to such a greeting. Villain I am none: therefore farewell." Act 3 scene 1 lines 55-58. Even though his intentions were good, everything still goes wrong. Shakespeare had to get rid of Mercutio the play wouldn't be a tragedy if Mercutio was still telling jokes after Juliet and Romeo die. With Mercutio gone, the audience could focus on Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio's death put the feud into context and shows the full extent of the fighting. Mercutio was neither a Montague nor a Capulet- he was an outsider, which is ironic as he was happy to start it (the fight) as though it was a sport. With his death, the play's tone changes to be more melancholy. The audience can now concentrate on how Romeo and Juliet's deaths occur. Annabelle Baker 10PC Romeo and Juliet ...read more.

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